Fun times and trips to the beach with family and friends is what Summer is all about. But along with sand and sun comes double demerit points and extra police on patrol. So if you’re travelling this Summe, stay focused and be sure to keep road safety at the top of mind. To help you along your journey follow our tips to stay safe on the road.
Ensure you are well rested
To best prepare yourself for a trip – regardless of the length of your journey – is to make sure you get adequate rest. Tiredness is a major cause of road accidents and getting enough sleep is essential before a lengthy drive. It will ensure you have enough energy to burn during your travels to keep focused and alert. Not getting enough sleep can result in poor concentration, tiredness, lack of awareness or even a microsleep. So if you’re feeling restless, have poor concentration, heavy eyelids or find yourself constantly yawning, it’s a sign to pull over, stop, revive and survive.
Take breaks every two hours
For every two hours of driving it’s recommended to take a 15 minute break. With thousands of rest areas scattered throughout the country, it’s always a good idea to park safely, take a break, stretch your legs and get a breath of fresh air. The driver reviver sites and rest areas are available 24 hours a day all year-round and are clearly signposted. In the case you’re unable to locate a rest area, petrol stations, information centres, parks and country towns also make for great places to stop and take a break from the wheel.
Avoid driving early morning and through the night
When driving long distances, or on highways and freeways, it’s best to travel during the day when the sun is out. This means your vision is clearer and you’ll be able to see better in the case of an unexpected animal running out onto the road. Try to avoid driving during early hours of the morning and throughout the night. And if you do, be prepared to slow down. Especially near sunrise and sunset when animals such as kangaroos, wombats and stray stock can move fast and be extremely unpredictable. When animals stray onto the road it’s hard to know what they’ll do next. Slowing down could prevent a collision and even save your vehicle from being severely damaged. And if an animal does happen to run in front of your vehicle you should never swerve, because it’s actually safer to hit an animal than it is to swerve and possibly lose control of your vehicle.
Be mindful of double demerit points
Double demerit penalties start from December 21 until New Year’s Day, January 1. Be mindful of speeding, drink driving, illegal use of mobile phones and not wearing a seatbelt – just to name a few. Consequences for breaking the road rules consist of heavy fines, loss of points and even licence suspension and disqualification. Sticking to the road rules reduces your risk of not only being hit with double demerit points and a hefty fine, but also reduces the risk of an accident. For people with a full driver licence, the legal limit of alcohol in your system while driving is 0.05. If you’ve drunk copious amounts of alcohol the night before you’re most likely to be over the limit the next day. Don’t risk it – consider catching a taxi or public transport the morning after a big night.
Check your vehicle and attachments
Before hitting the road consider inspecting all elements of your vehicle – washers, battery, oil, fan belts, filters, lights and tyres. Checking your tyres is a great starting point. Legally, tyres must have 1.5mm or more tread depth. Tyre wear can increase through incorrect tyre pressure, so make sure you routinely check them. You’ll usually find your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure on a sticker in the door jam, in the console, or in your owner’s manual. It’s also a good idea to check all your lights are in working order. Taking your vehicle for a service the month before your travels is always a good idea too. And if you’re using attachments such as tyre chains, cargo barriers and tow bars, triple check to see they’re properly attached to avoid accidental mishaps.
Be sure to buckle up
Before you even drive out of your driveway onto the road, make sure everyone is buckled up. Wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of injury and death in the event of a crash. Click clack, front and back